Posted by Kevin Kerrane
To refresh your memory on the third story I never quite finished, click here.
I have tried writing fiction – everything from vignettes to the great American novel. But I have – fortunately, perhaps – been found lacking. This article is one in a series of several stories, of one type or another, that I never quite finished – usually because I had neither the energy nor the heart to do so. After each story a short criticism follows. The criticism is offered to me, but of course you may profit from it too.
You may notice, incidentally, that in some cases the criticism is longer than the actual story reprint. This conclusively proves what has been a major contention of mine for some time now: namely that critics make things grow. How? I think that any farmer knows what makes things grow.
My last attempt at writing fiction was at the age of 17, when I quit working on a short story entitled The Old Man, For Whom the Sun Also Rises or William Falkner Chews Bubble Gum:
He walked down the road. The road was dusty. It was hot. He was hot. The humidity was 92.7. A dog ran next to him. He talked to the dog. It is a literary technique.
‘Geez,' he said. ‘It's hot. It's humid, too. You know that, dog?'
‘Damn right,' the dog replied.
‘Might cool off later though.'
‘You can't tell,' the dog said. ‘Can't tell about anything in this rotten world. Sometimes it makes me sick. Sometimes I'd like to write a story about it, or maybe a book, or a play maybe. Geez!'
‘Why don't you?'
‘I can't. I…'
In the last known work of this writer's career, there seems to be a certain amount of reliance on simplicity. In fact, I think it would be very difficult to find a more simple writer. There is notable regression back to the days of the writing of Sir Gawain, and probably even earlier. The author has come full circle, and then gone on a tangent.
I wonder why the dog can't write his book. Maybe he can't write. Maybe he can't spell. Maybe he can't type. Maybe he can write and spell and type, but can't proofread. Maybe he has a neurosis. It makes me pretty sick. Geez!